Non-governmental organisations in the country have constituted themselves as an opposition party against the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Federal Government has said.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, many civil society organisations in the country fail to appreciate the fight against corruption by the current administration.
The minister stated this in Abuja while playing host to the Chair of Transparency International, Delia Ferreria Rubio, and the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, the local chapter of TI, Auwal Rafsanjani.
Mohammed was quoted in a statement issued by the CISLAC on Wednesday as saying, “TI and CISLAC fail to see and appreciate the sociological dynamics of fighting corruption.
“They do not look at the picture but condemn the efforts of the government, like in the case of the Corruption Perception Index. NGOs have constituted themselves as an opposition party. There should be constant interaction with the government instead.”
The minister, however, welcomed the TI chair to Nigeria and thanked her for making the country her first port of call in Africa.
Mohammed also told his guests that there had been no government in Nigeria that had been as transparent as the current administration.
Earlier in her remarks, Rubio told the minister that although rules were necessary, they were not enough.
She said TI, through its local chapter in Nigeria, CISLAC, was willing to cooperate with the ministry in the fight against corruption.
Rubio requested that the fight against corruption be institutionalised so that the same issues would not arise when another government takes over power.
Reacting to the minister’s claims against the NGOs, Rafsanjani pointed out that the TI only collates the reports of the perception of corruption from various institutions like the World Bank and analyses them.
According to him, NGOs support the government whenever it is doing well and raise red flags in areas where it is not doing so well.
He argued that CISLAC had in various capacities interacted with the government and had assisted in capacity building in so many areas, an indication that the organisation was interested in the success of the country.